If you run a restaurant, you will know that one of the most crucial cogs in the machine of your business is the serving staff. The customer experience hangs in the balance; with the right waiters, your restaurant can go from ‘good’ to ‘amazing!’ However, with the wrong attitudes, presentation or knowledge, your wait staff can make the overall customer experience of your restaurant a disappointment. No matter how amazing your food tastes and how beautiful your architecture, if the service is bad, the experience is bad. Period.

So how do you know whether a prospective server is right for your business? The Food Services industry has been battered by coronavirus, so now that we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is crucial that your business starts up again with a bang. 

Here are 3 tips for hiring the right waiters for your restaurant!

Attitude over experience

Hiring experienced wait staff is important, but a person’s attitude is far more important than their experience. Everybody is trainable when it comes to being a good waiter – and in fact, many restaurants prefer to train their own wait staff to exactly their standards – but not everybody has the right attitude when it comes to being a good waiter. 

The attitude of a prospective waiter in your establishment should reflect the character of the place. Friendly, approachable and dedicated are words that should describe the people you hire. If they haven’t got much waiting experience, you can always train them – it’s their attitude that will make them successful at customer service.

Pay attention to hygiene

Particularly in the era of COVID-19, customers at restaurants are more aware than ever of other people’s personal hygiene. A waiter interviewing for a job at your restaurant should be presented as if they were already working as a waiter. Red flags for bad personal hygiene such as greasy hair, dirty fingernails or body odour suggests that, even if this person has a great resumé, they aren’t the person to hire.

Give and you shall receive

Being a waiter is a difficult job; not necessarily intellectually, but certainly emotionally and physically. Waiters must strike the balance between being friendly and helpful, and not over facing customers who are trying to enjoy their food. They must work at a fast pace, keeping their mind sharp as they remember requests, orders and table numbers, as well as memorizing your menu. 

For that reason, it is important to set a respectful tone amongst your staff. Hiring a talented waiter is one thing; keeping them is another. Waiters are sometimes considered the “bottom of the heap”, but in order to hold onto your most treasured staff, give them a reason to stay. That means fair wages, equal treatment to chefs and other staff, and an approachable management team to whom they can air any concerns they have.

Don’t underestimate the power of an awesome waiter to kick your restaurant into the big leagues! Use this helpful guide next time you hire a new recruit. 

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